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|Guppies dying, water conditions seem fine|
I'll start out by stating that I'm fairly new to the whole fish-keeping scene, so decided to start out with what are supposedly one of the 'easiest' fish to keep, Fancy guppies. For reasons that I can't work out however, they have been dying off at a rate of approximately 1 per week over the last month or so. I do not see any signs of infection (no white-spot, etc) and while one had a bit of a tail attack (bite marks), I don't believe that is the cause (the one i scooped out this morning has no such marks - i actually believe he may have been the 'bully' in the tank doing the nipping).
The tank is a 10g 'wall mounted' tank, planted with some lace fern, mondo-grass and anubias nana (on wood) in eco-complete substrate. It is the home of two catfish (1 Bristlenose and 1 Cuckoo), a handfull of annoying snails that came with one of the plants, and what is now only 2 male fancy guppies.
I've been doing weekly water tests which generally show pretty stable readings as below:
GH: 15dGH (this does seem to fluctuate a bit, from around 13dGH to 19dGH - the biggest jump I ever had was 3dGH in a week)
Temperature: 27ºC (81ºF)
I do twice-weekly water changes of about 25%, generally including water conditioner, API StressCoat, Flourish and Flourish Excel. Whenever I add new fish, I add the recommended dose of PRIME.
Any ideas on what could be causing these 'hardy' fish to keep dying off?
|Posted 30-Oct-2013 05:20|
Good for you testing the water!
The only thing that jumps out at me as unusual in this situation is what you're adding to the water. Prime and Stress Coat both contain dechlorinators, and if you're adding those in addition to another "water conditioner" it might be too much (I assume this is dechlorinator. Or are you using something to adjust the pH or hardness?). On the other hand I've heard some of these things are really hard to OD on.
I'm wondering why your KH is so low with such a high GH.
pH and KH are also on the low side for most livebearers (including guppies) - which I think covers why my mom (who has soft water where she lives) can't keep platies alive, but I (with "liquid rock" coming out of the tap) have them growing like crazy.
And I'd like to make a side note about fancy guppies' hardiness. Guppies have been line-bred for so long now that many of them are really not exceptionally hardy. Add that to the conditions they're often in when purchased... I wouldn't say you're guaranteed to have problems, but it's really not that shocking that they might have some form of disease from the time you got them. How long have you had the guppies?
|Posted 31-Oct-2013 02:54|
Wow! Testing, keeping records, and presenting the
results in a graph! BRAVO!
The low KH can happen on occassion with a high GH so that's
not too outta wack.
Superlion is correct in pointing out that guppies have been
inbred for so many decades that they have become sensitive
to conditions such as the low pH, but many do survive and
thrive, if they are acclimated over a period of weeks to
the lower pH.
I'm curious as to where you are getting your fish from.
If they are from one of the larger super pet stores, they
can be carrying a disease or parasite. If they come from
a smaller local fish store, then they generally quarentine(sp) their fish and treat the tanks if they find a problem.
Really nice looking planted tank too!
-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
|Posted 31-Oct-2013 21:16|
Thanks for the replies!
Yes, the pH is a little on the low side, I'll raise that (reasonably slowly of course!) to around the 7.0-7.2 mark.
The high GH/low KH is (I believe) due to the water conditioner that I'm using, the tap water is very soft here in Melbourne, Australia, around 7.6 pH and 1dGH/1dKH. Adding the water conditioner brings the GH right up to about 16dGH but the KH only rises to about 3dKH.
The fish have mainly been bought from smaller aquariums who I know do take pretty good care of their tanks, quarantining as necessary, however of course it is still possible that some kind of disease has got into the tank that way.
The fish were bought at different times, but things were pretty stable for quite a few months - then I decided to change the substrate over to EcoComplete about 6-7 weeks ago, and from that point I've been losing them at a rate of about 1 per week. I'm aware that changing the substrate severely upsets the bacteria ecosystem in the tank, and was expecting an ammonia, nitrite or nitrate spike, however those levels never really did anything notable, just the fish began to die off. Other than the substrate change, nothing that I can think of (the water conditioner, StressCoat, Prime, Flourish/FlourishExcel, the frequency/volume of the water changes, etc) has changed.
|Posted 01-Nov-2013 09:50|
I would have expected an ammonia spike too. Have you checked your test kit to make sure it is not expired?
|Posted 02-Nov-2013 01:23|
Nope, the test kit is fine...
|Posted 03-Nov-2013 12:29|
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